Ancestor of Nadine
JONATHAN C. CONSTANT - Jonathan C. Constant, deceased, was one of the earliest settlers of Sangamon county and for many years was actively identified with the agricultural interests of Mechanicsburg township. He was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, on the 30th of September, 1809, and belonged to a family of French lineage that was early founded in that state, although the first representatives of the name in America were residents of Philadephia, Pennsylvania. His father, William Constant, was also a native of Kentucky, and in 1824 came with a colony to Illinois, bringing with him his family. Locating, in Mechanicsburg township, Sangamon county, he entered land from the government and began the improvement of a farm. Upon that place he spent his remaining days and at his death was laid to rest in the Mechanicsburg cemetery.
Jonathan C. Constant was about seventeen years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this county and here he grew to manhood. He also secured a tract of government land in Mechanicsburg township, which he transformed into a good farm, making his home thereon throughout the remainder of his life. He met with success in his farming operations and continued to devote his attention to that occupation until his death in 1879.
On the 19th of May, 1836, in this county, Mr. Constant was united in marriage to Miss Mary B. Elder, who was born in Sevier county, Tennessee, May 18, 1817, and was the third in order of birth in a family of twenty children. Her father, Samuel Elder, was born June 22, 1787, either in North Carolina or Sevier county, Tennessee, and in the latter state was married March 20, 1813, to Phoebe Clinkenbeard, whose birth occurred in Sevier county on the 26th of December, 1798. They continued to make their home in t hat county until after the birth of three of their children and then removed to Bourbon county, Kentucky, where one child was born. They next lived in Scott county, Indiana, where five others were added to the family, and at the end of seven years returned to Bourbon county, Kentucky, where seven children were born. In 1834 they came to Sangamon county, Illinois, arriving here on the 27th of November, and settled in what is now Rochester township, which was the birthplace of four of the children. Five of the twenty died in infancy.
Unto Jonathan C. and Mary B. (Elder) Constant were born five children, of whom two died when young. The oldest of the three now living is George W., who is represented on another page of this volume. John W., born September 22, 1839, was married in Springfield, January 30, 1865, to Clarissa G. Ingels, by whom he has several children, and they reside upon their farm near Illiopolis. Samuel W., born in July, 1843, enlisted on the 17th of August, 1861, for three Years, becoming a member of Company H, Thirtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was captured at the battle of Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 1864, and for two months was in Andersonville prison, being exchanged September 19, 1864. He was honorablv discharged from the service on the 27th of the same month and then returned home. He was married in this county, December 24, 1867, to Mary J. Semple and now owns and operates the old family homestead. The mother of these children died in 1846, and Mr. Constant was again married November 26, 1848, his second union being with Miss Lavina Crocker, by whom he had two children: Mary B., born September 17, 1851, was married June 6, 1872, to Squire Campbell died on the 19th of November, of that year; Lewis Allen, born December 7, 1853, is living in Springfield. Mrs. Lavina Constant died on the 26th of August, 1858, and December 20, 1860, our subject wedded Mrs. Sarah (Bridges) Ridges. He was a man of many sterling traits of character and was highly respected and esteemed by all who knew him.